Roger Mason Jr. survived training camp with his non-guaranteed contract. He survived long enough to have his league-minimum deal guaranteed on Jan. 10. But the veteran guard couldn't survive the Miami Heat's ultimate desire for roster flexibility.

In a move that creates the first roster opening since the Heat broke camp, the Heat on Thursday dealt Mason to the Sacramento Kings at the NBA trading deadline.

"We have the flexibility now to choose," coach Erik Spoelstra said before his team faced the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

While the Mason deal was the Heat's lone move at the deadline, it leaves the team the option of picking up a player in advance of the playoffs. Players waived by March 1 remain playoff-eligible elsewhere, provided they are signed by the end of the regular season.

"Right now," Spoelstra said, "the business side of it is that it gives us flexibility going down the stretch."